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Introduction to System Design

Introduction to System Design (UE S2-3)

Systems build upon nano‐devices are widely spread in computers, transportation or healthcare equipments. These systems usually involve a huge number of devices, leading to high complexity structures and hardly predictable behaviours.
This course provides basic knowledge and tools to study and design such systems. This course provides concepts and tools for the description, the analysis, the design, the optimisation and the validation of such systems at multiple scales. Many examples are
used, with a special highlight on digital systems.
This course is built upon case studies, practicals and labs. It intends to provide basics engineering skills to be able to interact with product engineers or to manage teams in a system R&D

Outline of the course

1. Introduction
  1.1. Systems basics,
  1.2. Examples of systems, behaviour and size effects (the system
is more than the sum of its parts).

2. Design Methodologies
  2.1. Functional and structural analysis,
  2.2. Representations: programs and organigrams,
  2.3. Design methods: bottom‐up and top‐down.

3. Methods and tools for top‐down design
  3.1. Validation/Simulation of systems (FEM, continuous time,
discrete time),
  3.2. Modeling and design tools,
  3.3. Optimization techniques.


  • Physics of Semiconductor Devices, S.M. Sze, Wiley
  • Fundamentals of Computer‐Aided Circuit simulation, William J.
    McCalla, Kluwer
  • Circuit Simulation Methods and Algorithms, Jan Ogrodzki, CRC Press
  • Charge‐Based MOS Transistor Modeling ‐ The EKV Model for Low‐
    Power and RF IC Design, Enz, C. C. ; Vittoz, E. A., Wiley


  • Written exam
  • Lab session attendance

course volume

  • lecture: 24h
  • tutorial: 3h
  • practicals: 3h
  • ECTS: 3